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I’m a convert to Charcoal after using charcoal-based face masks and feeling it’s purifying and detoxing effects. But Charcoal based cleansers, are a different story. Now, I’m willing to believe in the detoxing effects of antioxidants/extracts that stay on your skin long enough for them to be absorbed, such as in masks, but I’m left sceptical of their effects in daily cleansers that you wash off in the matter of minutes, and all the charcoal based cleansers i’ve used fall in this camp.

Left frustrated with Lush’s Dark Angels Cleanser, and doubtful about the Charcoal content in L’Oréal’s Menexpert Face Wash (though I did like it for what it was: a no-frills, convenient face wash you can pick up at the supermarket -you can read my review here), I was determined to find a Charcoal cleanser that ticked the following boxes:

  1. Predominantly Charcoal Based (to ensure as best I could, that the benefits I saw were from the charcoal, rather than from any other chemical additives)
  2. Be a Daily Cleanser – Cleansers that double up as masks have their place, but I was specifically looking for a cleanser that you’d use as you would a normal cleanser twice a day
  3. Effectiveness – An extension of point 2 really, but this charcoal product needed to produce visible effects from its use as a daily cleanser without any of the leave-on-your-skin-to-absorb-for-20-minutes faff that let’s face it, you might be bothered to do a couple of times a week at most, but twice a day? Forget it.

And I found it, waiting for me in Liberty’s Beauty Hall, in the form of a soap bar.

Morihata Binchotan Charcoal Facial Soap – 85g at £30 available at Liberty’s of London

At £30, this isn’t the cheapest of soaps, but neither are the cleansers we’re willing to pay for that are full of toxins just because they have the name of a brand behind them – I’d choose this over two pots of 250g Lush Dark Angels Cleanser priced at £16 each any day.

Morihata are a Japanese-American brand with its roots in Philadelphia, and have an entire line dedicated to Binchotan Charcoal for its well known health benefits. I’m currently lusting after the Binchotan Toothbrush, and it can be seen here alongside the other products in the range.

This facial soap promises to restore skin by exfoliating, moisturising and absorbing its impurities, as well as the chemicals in tap water -a welcome benefit being in the UK where the water is hard, which often leaves hair brittle and skin dry. I can’t vouch for any exfoliating benefits, but I wasn’t too bothered as I was looking at it solely as a facial cleanser, but in terms of cleansing, moisturising and effectively purifying, it checked everything on my list and more. This soap doesn’t leave your skin feeling cleansed, and I mean that in a good way. You know how some cleansers can leave you face feeling like you’ve used a clarifying shampoo on it? Instead, it leaves your skin feeling simultaneously clean, but like you’ve used a good nourishing moisturiser, without any grease.

The ease of its use and lack of mess also works in its favour – I simply wet my face, lather the soap in my hands and apply the foam to my face, massaging it with my fingers or my Hinoki Face Brush (reviewed here) like I would my regular cleanser (which incidentally gives you the full benefits of the charcoal and extracts without faff!) ,and rinse for full effects.

If you’ve never considered using a facial soap as a cleanser before, or have had disappointing experiences with charcoal products, give this soap a go!